Thesaurus Tuesday: “Devil’s Lair”

So this week I’m reading Devil’s Lair, by David Wisehart, in which William of Ockham — yes, that William of Ockham — goes in search of the Holy Grail. And how does one find the Holy Grail? By retracing the steps of the narrator of Dante’s Inferno, of course!

“None shall pass.”

Why did I call this “Thesaurus Tuesday” instead of “Teaser Tuesday”? Here’s a clue:

Walking on, Marco saw the red light divide into two glowing orbs that grew larger as he approached. They became a pair of shimmering eyes, chatoyant as the eyes of a cat.

That’s just one example; this book has five dollar words scattered around like coins in Super Mario Land. Now, I don’t want to make it sounds like I don’t like this book, because actually so far it’s not bad. I’m just heading to the dictionary on the Kobo way more often than I usually do, although it’s been stumped more than once too. It’s doing wonders for my vocabulary.

This particular excerpt seems to be saying that the eyes had such a cat’s-eye effect that they looked like cat’s eyes, which sort of reminds me of a gag in the old book Help! I’m A Prisoner In A Chinese Bakery in which the author, Alan King, informs his attorney that he has not made out a will. I don’t recall it precisely but it goes something like this:

Attorney (horrified): “Alan! If you don’t have a will, you could die intestate!”
Alan King (subsequent narration): “They scare the hell out of you using phrases like ‘die intestate’, but I looked it up, and it means ‘to die without leaving a will’. So he was telling me that if I died without leaving a will, I would die without leaving a will. That legal pearl cost me $200.”

You can have that teaser for free, since I don’t have the book here to quote from directly. Here’s another free one, too, from Television Man, on which I am still making dilatory yet ineluctable progress.

Bob sat down on the couch. “My problem is pretty urgent.”
“Aren’t they all,” Toomes said. He plucked out the olive and ate it, then aimed the tiny sword at Bob. “Go ahead, sadden me.”

Well, you know. If you’re going to go fight vampires, better fortify yourself with a good stiff drink first.

2 thoughts on “Thesaurus Tuesday: “Devil’s Lair”

  1. Wisehart probably waited his whole life to find a way to use that word. I wonder if Dog’s eyes are “chienoyant”.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.